Courts Reject Bush Tactical Decision

President Bush’s legal approach to fighting terrorism may not outlast his presidency.

That’s the conclusion of a Wall Street Journal analysis (sub. req.) of court rulings that blocked government actions against terrorism suspects here and at Guantanamo Bay.

The setbacks stem from a tactical decision to assert the president had inherent powers to try accused terrorists before military tribunals or to hold them here indefinitely. Because of that decision, the administration did not seek congressional authority for its actions.

Civilian and military courts have disagreed with that contention, mostly recently when a federal appeals court said the president could not indefinitely detain a civilian arrested here.

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